Gujo – a good ambassador for volunteers

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The 66-year-old Gudmundur Kristinn Thorsteinsson has worked as a volunteer sports leader for more than 30 years.

By John Jakobsen

Working as a volunteer leader is paramount now when the Arctic Winter Games is just around the corner. A man who knows quite a bit about making a voluntary effort is Gudmundur Kristinn Thorsteinsson – mostly known as Gujo. Who is this Gujo – read on – and you will get the answer.

  – I was born in Reykjavik, Iceland on April 13, 1949. I am married to Benedikte (Bendo) Thorsteinsson, whom I was lucky enough to meet in Copenhagen in October 1970. We have four children and nine grandchildren. I came to Greenland in February 1971 for the first time, and has lived most of my adult life in Greenland – but with a few periods in Iceland.

  – Like most boys, I had interest in soccer, but did not play much. Swimming became my favorite sport and I competed a lot. I was on the team that won the Icelandic Championship in water polo.

  – My interest for sports in Greenland started very randomly in the 1980s in Qaqortoq, where I volunteered in the local club K 1933. I was on the board, local chairman and helped collect funds for the club and much more. Later, I became team leader for both handball and soccer, and finally a coach in handball. This evolved into being on the board of GHF ​​(Greenland Handball Federation), and team leader for the men’s national team that participated at the World Cup in France in 2001.

I’ve also been a coach for GSS for many years.

  – I work voluntarily, and have done so for many years. I usually help when athletes are going to Iceland to compete. This has been one of the great and very rewarding tasks. While I lived in Iceland from 2002 to 2005, I was chairman of the Child and Youth Division of handball at FH in Hafnarfjørdur (one of Iceland’s biggest clubs). I learned a lot from it and it was exciting.

Volunteering brings real friends
Gujo is not officially retired – he tells himself. Volunteering continues – and it means everything.

  – Sports means a lot to me. Volunteer work here in Greenland for the past 30 years has enriched my life – and still does. It has given me many good experiences and friendships for life. I will continue to do everything I can – to help improve conditions for children and young people in our country. I work voluntarily for the children within the sports, and in other areas. And I also still participate in debates – and follow politics.

  – I think that there are many young people in Greenland who can do well in sports. Especially if young people have good conditions to develop within. I have seen how it is being done in Iceland, and also in the Faroe Islands, countries we daily compare ourselves to.

– These two countries have clear objectives. I truly believe that we can do the same here in Greenland, both on a recreational and elite level. Indoor sports have pretty good facilities, but outdoor soccer does not have optimal facilities.

– School sports are also an important part. I believe that discipline is very important if we are to achieve our goals. This should start already in primary school. Greenland can reach high goals, but it requires a clear objective from the authorities in form of a sports policy. Sports are, in my opinion, not only beneficial for those who do it, but for the whole country’s population.

Facts

  • Name: Gudmundur Kristinn Thorsteinsson.
  • Work: Looking for work. However, does a lot of volunteer work.
  • Born: April 13, 1949 in Reykjavik, Iceland.
  • Weight: Weights vary according to season and game animals (fresh food), from 106 to 114 kilos.
  • Height: 189 cm.
  • What is your favorite food? Hangikjøt (smoked Icelandic lamb). Whale steaks medium rear w / onions and mashed potatoes.
  • Do you make your own food? Sometimes.
  • How is your relationship with beer, liquor and cigarettes? I have a reasonable relationship to these things.
  • What music do you like? Can I have more space in the newspaper …
  • Do you read books, newspapers or you read news on the web? All of the above.
  • Do you go to the movies often – or watch movies on TV: Not as often here in Nuuk as I would like to. The vararity is not particularly large. Watching movies on TV.
  • ARE you engaged / married – and with whom? Married to Benedicte (Bendo) Thorsteinsson for 44 years and have four children.

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The National Team 2001 at the World Cup in France. Rear right is team leader Gujo Thorsteinsson. Photo: John Jakobsen

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